UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Green Super Smoothie

I really do believe that getting fruit smoothies in to your diet is going to reduce the dull, tired appearance your skin can take on in the winter months. I've recently been using this recipe for a Spinach, apple and pineapple one which is as green as it is good. 
Trust me, this smoothie doesn't taste gross and grassy. Any smoothie containing a large amount of sweet fruits is really going to cancel out any salad flavour. You could alternatively use kale for this recipe too.
This recipe is quite a cheap one. Spinach and apples are inexpensive, and while you can use pineapple chunks, today I've just used juice. If you've got fruit that's looking a bit past its best then a smoothie is a perfect destination for it. If you're feeling super lazy, buying packaged fruit (of the more exotic kind) is also an option.
Cut the ingredients into small pieces, add a squeeze of lemon juice, some water/ice and blend.
Ta da!
Smoothies make a great breakfast alternative or just to take on the go. I'm the sort of person who needs sugar by about 11 am so I know that if I have a smoothie I'm not going to be tempted to snack in a bad way. This is a great way to get a load of goodness into your diet with minimal effort. 

Pour it out into bottles, refrigerate and enjoy! Does anyone have any tasty smoothie combos? Comment below!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Etsy Review: Lanna Cafe Body Scrub

Apologies for the lack of in depth reviews etc recently, but I finally have a new camera and am so excited to share the new series of products I've received over the past week. There's a theme: they're all natural, organic and available to purchase on Etsy.

Over the past few weeks I've been lucky to receive some sample products from all over the world from some lovely people. I've received them all in the past few days  and am currently in the process of trying and reviewing, so they're in no particular order. However, I must say I was super excited to see this Lanna Cafe Body Scrub* from Pim at Lanna Cafe Thailand delivered to my lil ol'student house in Nottingham.
Pim, who makes these products from scratch in Koh Chang, sent me a Coconut Shea Butter Body Scrub.* Look how beautiful the packaging is! I love coconut (I'm that person who everyone gives the unwanted Bountys to), so this was an absolute treat.
This scrub is to be used in the shower and washed off. I personally find a lot of shop-bought body scrubs ridiculously abrasive and just...uncomfortable. Ugh, thinking about past experiences is really not a happy thing (strawberry ones in particular...gross.) I don't want to sandpaper/burn/strip my skin away, please! 

In contrast, the walnut shell beads in this are super tiny so they're gentle on the skin whilst still being effective. My skin was left really soft, plus the scent doesn't wear off in the shower and I still smell like coconut. Result!
Lanna Cafe have conjured up a lovely, gentle scrub that smells heavenly. Check them out on Etsy and Facebook and have a browse through their products!

* The products in this post were a gift from the brand or company mentioned, however all opinions are my own and I always review honestly.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Product Review: Botanics BB Cream

So I'm not sure what gingko is and I've never been a big fan of BB creams, but I thought I would give this one a spin.

The Botanics range at Boots has a great discount on at the moment (it's usually around £10 but it's now nearly half the price.) For some strange reason it doesn't have a link on the online site, but it will be in all Boots store. My mum actually recommended this to me, and whilst I've tried BB creams in the past with no success, I decided to be be optimistic. 
It has loads of great factors going for it: SPF 30, this mysterious gingko ingredient (which I am now reading up on) containing antioxidants that protect skin from damage, plus this is the first BB cream I have tried that isn't orange. BB creams are usually a different level of tango. I'm pretty sure this only comes in two shades (light and medium...shame about the narrow spectrum), but the light one is really perfect for fair skin. 
I decided not to moisturise beforehand, simply because BB creams usually leave skin quite dewy. A little goes a really long way with this, plus the formula is so light and lovely. I applied it with my fingers and it doesn't cake or streak, but instead gives you a wonderful glow and a perfect complexion. Because I have combination/oily skin, it did require a bit of T-zone powdering, but the general result is definitely more a glow than an oily mess.
I seriously don't want to wear foundation again! It's so much easier to achieve a day-time/natural look. My skin feels like it can breathe, plus there really is minimal transfer with this cream. It's like a dewy mirage in a bottle. Highly recommend it. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Current Obsession: Revolution Palette

For months I have been meaning to add one of these to my collection. Beauty YouTubers and bloggers throughout the land have raved about Revolution eye shadow palettes, particularly for the fact that they're some of the best dupes out there for the Urban Decay Naked palettes. A dupe you say?! Hello. Okay so the Naked palettes are heavenly but this is as close to heaven as a student budget gets you. We're not fully into the heavenly realm but I can see angels etc. There's some celestial trumpeting and stuff. That's good enough for me.

This is the 'Redemption Palette Iconic 2'. I have no idea what it's redeeming me from but I certainly like it.

So we're talking a mixture of shimmer and matte shades from soft fawn, cocoa and pinker tones to the darker end of the spectrum. Wait...this sounds...oddly familiar...
a reasonably difficult game of spot the difference
Yeah it's sort of hilarious how obviously Naked 2 has been duped... but hey. This palette is amazing for a absolute fraction of the price. You'll notice that the Revolution palette is slightly cooler in tone than the Urban Decay, and with more shimmer shades, but the differences are minor. The pigmentation was obviously never going to be as strong as with Urban Decay but seriously...there's not much in it. How are they selling this so cheap?

You really can't complain when that's the pigmentation in this stuff! An easily blendable range of great dupe colours. Love love love. 

Available at Superdrug here

Monday, 12 January 2015

Golden Globes Favourites

Truthfully, it was hard finding looks I fully gave the thumbs up to at the Globes last night. There were some dreadful things, I am sorry to say. Those I like though: hello! As you can see, my picks are nude/blush pink and and dark dresses, which are basically what I always gravitate to.

Kate Beckinsale (left): Oh my gosh. Stunning. I'm pretty sure she's not human. The dress is by Elie Saab and I think that's a pretty faultless move. I love the detail that she's gone with, in that she's not been afraid to just glam it up in every element. Sparkly, luxe, fab.

Laura Prepon (centre left): Her look and her style just remind me of a beautiful evil queen. Not that she's evil, I freakin love her. She looks (glamourously) dark and mysterious (plus her hair in all its glossy raven beauty is to die for.)

Sienna Miller (centre right): Love! She looks like a tiny fairy. On a cake. Sprinkled with glitter. This Miu Miu is so dainty yet still sexy with that plunge. I' a big fan of the short crop too.

Katherine Heigl (right): This Zac Posen dress is something I genuinely lust after.That mermaid transition in the front is just *omg*.

I feel like these stars made informed choices: the looks suit their own personal style and their figures. Who were your favourites?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Current Obsession: Bad Gal Lash Mascara

Bad Gal Lash from Benefit is back in my life. It's a baby one from the Tan About Town kit which you probably can't buy in store anymore as it was only around for Christmas (I think), but of course you can buy the products individually. Other Benefit mascaras really aren't my friend but this one is the ultimate bae-m (before anyone else...mascara wise...yeah I dunno.) 

This mascara gives you big individual lashes that aren't clumpy. It can err on the spidery side if you're not careful (using the brush properly, basically- always wiggle!), but if you like your lashes super intense then this is perfect.
awkward hand alert
You can buy Bad Gal Lash mascara here.

(I'm also wearing Chopper and Sin shadows by Urban Decay and on my lips I've got Chic by No7 and Benefit Hoola lipgloss in Ultra Plush.)


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Current Obsession: MUA Pro-Brow Kit

MUA is such a find. Everything is well within any budget and the products are clearly all dupes of high end products (which is my favourite thing to discover: I will rave about Revolution another day.) 

So this is the Pro-Brow kit and I really like it. Like, a lot. I use pencils for brows usually, but if you're in a rush and don't properly check your work they can look dreadful. This also gets a clean line in one sweep, whereas with pencils you have to mimic the hairs. Ain't nobody got time for that.

In this palette you've got three brow shades. They're very blendable, so you can mix them quite easily to get the right colour for you. The fourth, lower right section is a gel that's going to keep your brows in place. So clever! The tweezers aren't amazing, but better than nothing if you want to touch up on the go. 

MUA is available here: MUA Pro Brow at Superdrug

Have a lovely Sunday!


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Resolutions are always nice

I've always liked these words. Read good books, kiss important people and make art in as many forms as you can. Neil Gaiman wrote this in one of his New Year essays and I always come back to it.

Nevertheless. New Year eh. It's as though we're expected to shed our 'old' skin and become a new person. Yes, it's good to have a fresh start, but it does remind me wholeheartedly that resolutions shouldn't really have a time or a place.

Despite this, I've made some. I intend to keep them because they're not all that crazy.

1. Drink more water. I'm going to at least attempt the 30 day water challenge this month. Nothing to drink, but water (and I'm allowing myself black tea.) It's so important for your health and your skin so this is my numero uno.

2. Start a blog. I have no idea what I'm doing but I just want to write some stuff and talk about things I like and maybe it'll be interesting. So thanks for reading this you lovely person you.

3. Learn to enjoy reading again. Read more, more often. Read stuff I used to read and forgot I enjoyed. Philosophy, fairy tales, crappy magazines. It's all good for you.

4. Stop dressing like an absolute slob. I'm forcing myself to stop wearing leggings more than three times a week (no lie I wear leggings everyday) (I'm pretty sure that's illegal.)

5. Go to the gym more. I have no particular goals other than to be healthy, but I need to haul ass to the gym waaay more than I actually do. Or just start running again. And especially brave the ego-drenched weights section because it's so male dominated it's embarassing.

6. Keep this in mind:
Basically, stop gossiping. There are so many bigger things to talk about than what people you barely know are up to. 

And that's about it. Make some resolutions people. Goals are nice. x

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